Forever Keeps

I know I am generally a sappy person, but kids will do that to you. I find myself going through pictures while Cove is asleep wandering how time slipped by us so quickly. Now that it’s summer, I honestly feel like he and I have grown even closer. It might sound silly because we’ve been together since he was in my womb, but we’ve connected and laughed together, cried together and he’s so much more cognitive. It hasn’t come without its challenges though… We’ve experienced the terrible twos so much earlier than I anticipated. I guess that’s the thing about parenting – once you think you’ve got one thing figured out, you get thrown a curve ball and you’re learning how to deal with something new. I’ve really been trying to write down quick notes on my phone of things going on, happy or sad, that I want to remember. I may start a little series on here like Thoughts On Things. We’ll see… But for now, here are 10 things I want to forever keep and remember. Every morning…

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Picnics + 5 Other Practical Ways We Use Gathre Mats

  Picnics are one of my very favorite things to do together as a family. Almost every year, the boys take me to do it for Mother’s Day or when they know I just need some time with them. It could be the fact I love cheese, bread and fruit and it’s usually the majority of what our picnics consist of, or that I LOVE outdoor dining. Anytime you combine food + a beautiful view, it’s my kind of heaven. After coming home from our trip the other day, our house was pure chaos with laundry, groceries and the mess that unpacking creates. The following Saturday, it was just the three of us with no plans, so we decided to get outside and picnic together. I used my new Gathre mat, to which I’m now spoiled, because now, a blanket won’t ever do for us… It doesn’t heat up in the sun, it’s easier to brush off and it lays flat when the wind blows. We had a mini mat a friend gave us before Cove was born, and it…

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Feeling Floral | Dress That Hides Taco Bumps

It’s been a minute since I’ve shared an outfit post with you. I’ve been so excited to start dressing for summer and probably pulled out my sandals way too early. This year, instead of going for items that are just fashionable, I have been trying hard to only buy and wear things that fit our lifestyle. Surprisingly, it doesn’t mean I have to dress boring. It just means pulling together outfits more intentionally. Instead of just buying something because it’s cute, I’m asking myself will it fit comfortably when we’re out, will I be able to wear it multiple ways and is it going to be super hard to clean when I get PB&J on it. Just being real here. I got a few pieces from Love Winnie James and have been so happy with them. This dress was one of them. The material is so light weight and gauze-like and it can be dressed up or down depending on where you’re headed. I was really excited because I wore it to date night and I didn’t have to worry about my…

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Capture Your Heart | Parabo Press + Free Square Prints for Everyone

  Ian is usually a pretty easy guy to buy for. He has a wishlist he adds things to every time he sees something he likes. Every now and then, I love to surprise him with something different and more personal. Until Cove gets old enough to pick out his own gifts for us, Ian and I help him a bit. I went for printed photography because Ian loves to take pictures of our family and always says that it’s his version of a journal to keep track of the good and bad days. We may not post them all on the blog, but we capture a lot, even the really hard moments when Cove’s throwing a fit or we’re in our lounge clothes just hanging around the house. I received about 50 square prints for Ian to refill his wood block frames with, a gorgeous glass print from his favorite trip with Cove to California at sunset and a large engineered print of sunset at Aliso Beach for our kitchen to go above the table he’s building me for Mother’s Day.…

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Thoughts on Things: Managing Time, Sand and a Few of My Current Favorites

  I normally feel like I am pretty good at managing time. I’m type A and make lists for everything. It’s probably a little OCD, but as of late, I’ve really been struggling. It feels like the days go by so fast and my lists never get done. I try to be really intentional about my time with family, so some things definitely get put on the back burner, but it still feels like time is moving way to fast to completely everything I need to. I would love some suggestions for those of you who manage a bunch of different things like jobs, kids, family and other priorities, and how you do it without letting things slip through the cracks. Hoping it’s just a season, because I hate laying my head on the pillow knowing that the list keeps growing. When we took the above pictures, Cove was having a big issue with the sand. He loves the water, but he’s really funny about textures. As soon as it got in his sandals he had a major melt-down and we had…

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Mother’s Day Recap

  This past weekend my boys spoiled me well. Saturday and Sunday they let me sleep in, brought me a card with the cutest little otter on them (this meme is my favorite and I literally said, ‘I Made Dis’ when Cove was born), and took me out for a day of doing whatever I wanted. I opted for a park date and dinner with a little shopping in between, of course. The slow and relaxed days with them are my favorite. Nothing too fancy, just quality time. Ian’s currently building my Mother’s Day present so I’ll show you guys that later. I received the sweetest necklace from Reagan over at Henri Lou and loved the sterling and turquoise accents. I have been mixing dainty gold and silver jewelry for a while now, especially my rings, so I thought it would be fun to try a silver necklace. Most of mine are gold, so it’s been fun to switch things out here and there. For some reason, this necklace reminds me of the desert and the ocean both together and I…

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Stir Crazy & Bellabeat

  This past week was a tough one in the realm of health issues for our family. We were wiped out and didn’t leave the house for a few days, but when we finally started to feel better, we decided some fresh air was what the doctor ordered. I tend to get extremely stir crazy after about one day stuck at home, so I was really crazy at this point. Please tell me I am not the only one like that? We headed to the lake/park to walk around and it definitely helped lift our spirits. Cove loves throwing rocks in the water and was really into the ducks this time. He was screaming “DUCKS!” chasing after them. I was cracking up. Next time we go back, I will have to bring some bread to the lake with me to make it up to all the ducks who were scared to death of the toddler chasing them around. I wanted to share with you guys about this fun new fitness tracker made for women. I have never been a huge fan of…

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To the mother with children on earth, in heaven and those cultivating life in other ways…

  It took a lot in me to write this, and I went back and forth on whether I should or not. But at the end of the day, I felt someone needed to read it. I was lucky enough to have an incredible mother who loved and taught me the beauty of what motherhood is and can be. When I was growing up, she would always say it was more important to her that we loved and treated her well every day of the year than just one holiday where we felt obligated to do so. I took this to heart, but never really gave Mother’s Day much of a thought until about three years ago. I don’t think I was ever one of those girls who dreamed of being a mother from a young age. I knew I wanted to be one, but it wasn’t something I had this deep desire for. But one day, about three years into our marriage, God laid that desire heavy on my heart. So you might think we would have a baby right then and there,…

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Mini Me Cleaning & The Safe Way to Clean Your Hardwoods

  About three years ago, We decided to rip up almost all the flooring in our home and replace it all with hardwoods. Because I love the real deal, we decided to stick with hardwoods like the ones we had in the kitchen and entry way. We had every room downstairs, minus the master bath, done, and it has been the best decision we made in renovating our home. I love not having to vacuum and knowing that my floors are clean. Part of our decision to put hardwoods throughout the house had to do with expecting Cove later that year. I knew with a little one crawling around that I would want to have floors I could maintain easier. The previous owners had two large husky dogs in the house, so we never felt our carpets were actually clean. When it came to cleaning hardwoods though, I wasn’t completely sure how to maintain and clean appropriately. I knew they could be swept instead of vacuumed, but I heard certain products would strip the finish and warp the floors. I recently discovered Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaning…

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Let’s Be Honest Mamas | All About Sleep | Giveaway to aden + anais

  Sleep is a hot topic among young mamas, and we’re all desperately seeking it. I am so excited to be teaming up with the lovely Hannah Renee and the Let’s Be Honest Mamas to share a little about sleep, or the lack thereof, we’ve experienced with Cove. We are also hosting a fun giveaway for two mama’s to receive a $100 gift card to aden + anais on Instagram, so be sure to check it out. We just recently got this silky soft shibori dream blanket, and I am obsessed. It is SO SOFT. I have actually contemplated stealing it from Cove’s room so I can curl up with it. Anyways… back to sleep… Here are my answers. How well does your babe sleep? Sleeping through the night? Taking good naps? None of the above? I almost feel a little bad sharing because I don’t want to jinx myself with our next kid, but Cove started sleeping through the night at about two months. We had a harder time with naps, but once we got in a good routine, he…

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Sunny Day Essentials And Why They Are So Important To Our Family

Sunny days are pretty much the best thing at our house. We love being outside, by the pool or the ocean all day long if possible. I’m so ready to take Cove to the beach and pool this year. Last year he really just splashed around, but now he’ll be able to run through it and we’ll get to teach him how to swim. We’ve got a few trips planned already, and I have already started counting down. I might even have a bag open with clothes in it, haha. Last year, we had a pretty big scare at the pool. We had applied sunscreen to Cove before heading out the door and by the time we got there he had huge red splotches all over his face and his eye was really swollen. We had applied what we thought was a natural sunscreen, but turns out had tons of chemicals in it which reacted poorly with his skin. From then on out, I’ve really done my homework on the kinds of products we use on and around Cove. I tried…

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Snacks on Snacks on Snacks

I hope you all are having a great week! We stole some time away from home and work to visit the lake with some friends. We had such a restful weekend, even though Cove partied so hard he didn’t want to sleep at night… It was amazing how even with little to no sleep, you can still feel rested by just being in a different environment. I have been working really hard to keep an open mind every time we travel with Cove. Things can be really unpredictable, so it’s so much better to have a good perspective going into it or your expectations will let you down every time something doesn’t go as planned. The past few trips we’ve taken have really helped with it. Traveling and day trips are one of our favorite hobbies so it’s been great to see Cove adapt and learn to love it too. Snacks can be your best friend when you are traveling with a toddler. When we’re on the road with Cove, sometimes we have to pull over to stretch our legs and fill…

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Quality Time | Jord Wood Watches

Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and I am loving our new traditions we’ve started as a family of three. We spend time with both of our mothers and Cove’s grandmothers the day before Mother’s Day and then we take Sunday as a day for our immediate family to spend time together. This past year was my first year celebrating Mother’s day with Cove and Ian really went above and beyond to make the day special for me. I know he is going to do a wonderful job teaching Cove how you love and respect your mother (not just on Mother’s Day, but every day). One of my strongest love languages is quality time, so on Mother’s Day it’s definitely something I cherish the most. I thought I would put together a list of a few creative ways you can give your mom quality time on Mother’s day. Zoo or aquarium date. This is not for every mom, but if your mom is an animal lover this will be right up her alley. Spend time together wandering around and…

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Easter Recap

Easter weekend was about one of the most fun holidays we’ve had since Cove was born. He is getting to a really fun stage as he is learning new ideas and concepts. Things were on steroids a little bit considering there were a total of three egg hunts, but we had a great time celebrating with our church and both sides of our family. We also discovered that his love for crackers and dark chocolate runs deeps. There were some hiding in his eggs instead of candy, and he would stop hunting eggs so he could eat could just sit down and eat. It was pretty adorable. We went pretty simple as far as his Easter basket goes. I went back and forth because I really love to spoil him, but I also don’t want holidays to be about getting a bunch of stuff. We got ended up getting practical items like some shorts for summer and chalk and bubbles for playing outside and then one or two toys. As he grows older, I would love to implement some concepts about how…

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Adventures Aren’t Just For Dreams

Do you remember when you were a kid and little things seemed so much bigger and more exciting then they do now? I remember how big my grandparents basement felt when we were down there playing or how fiber optic lamps from the seventies felt like make-believe aliens (random I know). I often wish the creative part of my mind would still work that way. Ian and I always talk about how much imagination and letting your mind wonder can bring innovation, and in careers / opportunities that really stretch your creative limits, how it would be so helpful to have those grand adventures like you did when you were a kid. I really hope we can help Cove embrace imagination and help bring his dreams to life. I believe as parents, it can be easy to get in ruts, or stick to reality all the time, but sometimes you have to feed those creative minds by taking it beyond their toys. Maybe it’s building forts in the living room, going on grand adventures in your own neighborhood or building things out of…

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The Wild Way | Tuscan Tuna Sandwich

I’ve always loved a good sandwich. We ate them a lot growing up. It was probably because we were a huge bread household. Good bread makes every meal better. Since it’s officially picnic weather, we decided to cook up some Tuscan Tuna Sandwiches for a quick and easy meal. Sometimes you just need to upgrade your standard sandwiches. I prefer canned Tuna in olive oil because it honestly has more flavor than tuna in water. Wild Selections is my favorite, and that is partly due to the fact that it also gives back to the World Wildlife Fund marine conservation and fishery improvement projects with every purchase you make. And the fact that there are only three ingredients: White tuna, olive oil and salt. Plus, they tell you exactly where your fish comes from on the can by searching here. These sandwiches are packed full of flavor and taste so fresh. If you are looking to wow a crowd with an easy recipe, these sandwiches will definitely do the trick. Now for the recipe… Ingredients 1/2 Mayo (I use the kind with olive oil)…

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